Good Luck in Chinese: 29 Well-wishes and Blessings for Native Speakers
Luck is a huge part of Chinese culture.
So it may come as no surprise that there are many different ways to wish someone “good luck” in Chinese.
Whether someone just started a new job, is getting married or has an exam coming up, there are distinct phrases you can use to wish them good fortune (while impressing them with your native-sounding language skills).
Here are 29 ways to say good luck in Chinese, for everyday events as well as big life changes.
- Good Luck in Chinese for Everyday Situations
- Chinese Blessings for Newlyweds
- Birthday Wishes in Chinese
- Chinese Wishes for Success, Prosperity and Fortune
Good Luck in Chinese for Everyday Situations
Pinyin: zhù nǐ hǎo yùn
English: (I wish you) Good luck
To reiterate, the way you say good luck in Chinese depends on the context and audience, but this is the literal equivalent to the Western idea of wishing someone good luck.
The verb 祝 means “to wish,” 你 means “you,” 好 is “good” and 运 is “luck.”
This is as straightforward as it gets, but it’s not used very often because it sounds “too translated.” Native Chinese speakers prefer to use phrases that cater to specific situations in order to wish someone luck.
Pinyin: hǎo hǎo er kǎo a
English: Have a good exam/Do well on this exam
Use this phrase for someone to wish someone luck on an upcoming test or exam.
Pinyin: hǎo hǎo er gàn a
English: Do well on this task/job
If someone has a big task, project or job that needs to get done, use this phrase to wish them luck.
Pinyin: wǒ wèi nǐ jiā yóu
English: I’m cheering for you
加油, which literally means “add oil,” is a figurative expression that best translates to “come on, let’s go!”
Pinyin: wǒ gěi nǐ jiā yóu
English: I will cheer for you
This sentence, the previous example and the phrase 加油 on its own are most common in competitive situations, though they can be used in other instances, too.
Chinese Blessings for Newlyweds
Pinyin: zhù nǐ men xìng fú
English: I wish you happiness
While you don’t exactly want to say “good luck,” you can use this phrase to wish a newly-married couple well.
Pinyin: zhù nǐ men bǎi nián hǎo hé
English: I wish you a long life together
Another saying for newlyweds, this one is literally “I wish you all the best for the next 100 years together.” You can drop the 祝你们 at the beginning if you want.
Pinyin: zhù nǐ men xìng fú měi mǎn
English: I wish you happiness and bliss
You can use this phrase for the happy couple as well. And again, you can leave out the 祝你们 here if you want, since it’s implied that you’re extending the wish to the couple.
Pinyin: zhù nǐ men xīn hūn yú kuài
English: I wish you a happy marriage/wedding
Another general blessing for a just-married couple. Once more, you can drop 祝你们 since this is also an expression on its own.
Pinyin: bái tóu xié lǎo
English: May you grow old together
The literal meaning of this one is “Live together until your hair goes white with old age.” It’s best to use this phrase if you’re close with the couple.
Pinyin: duō zi duō sūn
English: May you have many children and grandchildren
This phrase is also better if you know the couple well. You’d use it to wish them a big, happy family.
Pinyin: jǔ àn qí méi
English: May you have mutual respect in marriage
A phrase that’s explicitly about marriage, this one literally means “Lift the tray to eyebrow level.“
Pinyin: hù jìng hù ài
English: May you have mutual respect and love
This is a well-meaning phrase that sounds perfect for a wedding card.
Pinyin: jī qíng yǒng zài
English: May you have everlasting passion
Another one that’s probably best if you know the couple well, it literally means, “Passion is always there.”
Pinyin: zǎo shēng guì zǐ
English: May you give birth to a child soon
The original meaning was actually about giving birth to a son, so it’s best to reserve this wedding wish for traditional Chinese couples and families.
Birthday Wishes in Chinese
Pinyin: shēng rì kuài lè
English: Happy birthday
Birthdays are another occasion when you might wish someone good fortune. In English we’d simply say “happy birthday,” but in Chinese, it’s very common to hear this as 祝你生日快乐 (literally “I wish you a happy birthday”).
Pinyin: xī wàng nǐ jiàn kāng kuài lè dì zhǎng dà
English: I hope you grow up happy and healthy
Use this phrase to express birthday wishes for a child.
Pinyin: zhù nǐ tiān tiān kuài lè, xīn xiǎng shì chéng
English: I wish that you’re happy every day and that all your wishes come true
This general birthday wish can be used for acquaintances and friends.
Pinyin: cháng mìng bǎi suì
English: May you live for 100 years
This phrase is great to say to an elder on their birthday.
Pinyin: shòu bǐ nán shān, fú rú dōng hǎi
English: May you live as long as the Southern Mountain, and your fortune be as boundless as the Eastern Sea
This birthday saying is very poetic and very popular among older generations.
Chinese Wishes for Success, Prosperity and Fortune
Pinyin: cái yuán guǎng jìn
English: May you have an abundant source of income, wealth and fortune
Weddings and birthdays aren’t the only times you can send good wishes! If a friend just got hired, use this phrase to wish them luck at the new job.
Pinyin: píng bù qīng yún
English: May you get promoted quickly
Literally “skyrocket,” this is another good one for wishing someone success at a new job.
Pinyin: mǎ dào chéng gōng
English: May you immediately meet with success
This is another way to wish someone quick success with their new career.
Pinyin: bù bù gāo shēng
English: May you continuously get promoted
And one more for new jobs, this literally says, “Rise step by step.“
Pinyin: gōng xǐ fā cái
English: May you be prosperous
This phrase is used to mean “Happy New Year!” What you’d normally hear and say during Chinese New Year can also be used in a congratulatory sense, wishing someone luck in any future endeavor.
Pinyin: shēn tǐ jiàn kāng
English: I wish you good health
You can use this phrase, which literally means “healthy body,” during Chinese New Year or any other celebration.
Pinyin: zhù fú nǐ
English: Bless you
To wish someone happiness in everyday situations, you can say, “Bless you,” although this shouldn’t be confused with how English speakers use that phrase after someone sneezes. The literal translation is, “I wish happiness/good fortune on you.“
Pinyin: bǎo zhòng
English: Take care
This phrase can be used if you’re bidding someone adieu.
Pinyin: yí lù shùn fēng
English: Bon voyage
This is also a farewell phrase that literally means “May the wind be with you!“
Now you’ll sound like a native when you wish people luck using any of these expressions!
To pick up these”good luck” phrases (and more) in Mandarin, you can try reading Chinese blogs or watching videos featuring native Mandarin speakers, like those on YouTube or FluentU.
The FluentU language learning program teaches Chinese using authentic videos, like commercials, news clips and music videos, equipped with tools like interactive subtitles and flashcards.
So, study the list above and you’ll be on your way to holding your own in Chinese conversations.